What is Quinoa?

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Spicy Veggie Quinoa
Creative Commons License photo credit: sweetonveg

Quinoa is one of my favorite foods. It’s versatile, yummy and so good for you! It’s got a funny name (pronounced keen-wah), but there’s nothing funny about it. If you’ve decided to cut back on meat to save money, quinoa is a fantastic protein substitute.

Why is quinoa good for you?

Quinoa is a complete protein, meaning that it contains all nine essential amino acids.  Many people think it is a grain when actually it is a member of the leafy green family. Quinoa contains manganese, magnesium, iron, tryptophan, copper, and phosphorus.  It also contains fiber, which is essential for good health.  Magnesium is a mineral that helps relax blood vessels, so it’s great for people that suffer from migraines, and also to help support cardiovascular health naturally.

Quinoa is frugal and fabulous!

We buy our quinoa from Costco. They have a 4 pound bag for around $7.99. It’s organic, and tastes great! Quinoa tastes slightly nutty, fluffy, and warm. I love to make a bunch of it in our rice cooker and then store it in the fridge. When it’s warm out of the rice cooker, I put butter on it and sprinkle a little salt too and eat it that way.  It’s great for making different quinoa salads, and even as a side dish.  You can eat it cold or hot!  I like to make a cold quinoa salad for lunch with chopped veggies, onions, and garlic. My husband likes to eat quinoa in the morning as an oatmeal substitute.

Have you heard of quinoa?

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17 thoughts on “What is Quinoa?

  1. Chlpe (Naturally Frugal) says:

    I love quinoa! We also get the big organic bag from Costco & it’s wonderful. Unfortunately the boyfriend doesn’t care for quinoa, but I make him eat it anyways 😉

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Chloe- You are looking out for his best interests, right?! 🙂 I am so happy Costco sells quinoa!

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  2. Catherine says:

    I have heard of it, but I have no idea how to pronounce it or what to do with it! If it is anything like rice (in texture) I think my boyfriend would love it! It is on my list of “things to try”, however it’s kinda far down on the list at the moment.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Catherine- Quinoa is pronounced keen-wah. I really like it!

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  3. Carolyn says:

    We’ve used it as well, but were told you need to rinse it in cold water before using to rinse off the ‘bitter’ coating. Do you do something like that, and if so, how do you rinse it?

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Carolyn- I have heard that too! Sometimes I remember to rinse, other times I just throw it in my rice cooker. If I do rinse it, I throw it in a strainer and just spray the water all over it. It’s kind of fun! 🙂

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  4. Heather says:

    I heard of its virtues and tries it out maybe a year ago. The main thing that has stopped me from making it again is that it’s a pain. Very small = easy to spill. Also, a lot of it was left stuck to the pan or the spoon or the strainer (does it need to be strained? I don’t remember), which is a pet peeve of mine. And so I admit, slightly sheepishly, that I have not made it since…

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Heather- I know about that! I have gotten it all over the floor too. I sometimes rinse it, but other times forget. 🙂

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  5. Jenny says:

    We have a few staple foods, and quinoa is one of them. Our favorites are quinoa wraps and quinoa tomato soup. For the wraps, we put a little salsa in a tortilla and then some quinoa mixed with shredded cheese and spinach. It’s pretty good, and not that expensive. We figured out that quinoa, cheese and spinach are all pretty good in tomato soup. Then there’s the quinoa salad you can make by just throwing in whatever veggies, cheese, etc you have in the kitchen at the time. It’s about as frugal as you can get! And that salad in the picture… I wish I had that right now!

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Jenny- Those are two great quinoa recipes! I’m going to have to give that a try. That salad looks fabulous, doesn’t it?

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  6. cm says:

    Quinoa rules. Pleasingly odd texture, comes in white or red, healthful, smells good.

    It’s one of the key players in my Pantheon of Grain Beds (along with rice, bulgur, millet, and many others) upon which I place the main entree.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    cm- It’s hard for me to find red. I like the way that tastes too! I need to venture out into different grains. I’m stuck on quinoa. 😉

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  7. LivingOurWay says:

    This is one of our favorite foods! We use it instead of rice a lot.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    LivingOUrWay- I think quinoa is a great rice substitute. And so healthy! You can’t beat it.

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  8. Angel says:

    I just discovered this wonderful food at my friends house last weekend. i love it. they made it with tomato, avocado, green onions, lemon juice and some salt & pepper. yummy.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Angel- That sounds yummy! It’s so versatile and easy to cook. 🙂

    [Reply]

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